This week’s conversation is with Bethany Hamilton, a professional surfer and shark attack survivor.

Bethany has become a source of inspiration to millions through her story of determination, faith, and hope.

At the age of 13, Bethany lost her left arm to a 14-foot tiger shark, which seemed to end her career as a rising surf star.

One month after the attack, Bethany returned to the water and within two years had won her first national title.

Think about that for a second. She was back in the water within a month!

We all experience trauma — some on a greater scale than others, but what’s special about Bethany is her response to that trauma — and that’s why I wanted to talk to her.

In 2007, Bethany realized her dream of surfing professionally and since then, her story has been told in a New York Times best selling autobiography and in the 2011 film, Soul Surfer.

Bethany’s latest project, Unstoppable, a surf documentary showcasing her career is in theatres now and I highly recommend checking it out!

“I love helping young people overcome whatever craziness is coming at them. We all face hard stuff. Maybe it’s not a shark attack or limb loss, but normal life struggles, everyone has them, and we all need a little help along the way.”

In This Episode:

  • The characteristics that define her
  • What becoming a wife and mother has taught her about herself
  • How she made sense of the moment she lost her arm during a shark attack
  • Wanting to make a difference for the younger generation
  • Her experience with failure and what frustrates her about her competitive surfing career
  • Why her family structure helped her be grounded today
  • Her approach towards raising her kids and what she dreams of for them
  • Where she finds motivation and drive
  • What it was like catching a wave for the first time after she’d lost her arm
  • Her struggle with living life in the public view
  • How she defines mastery

 

Listen via: Apple Podcasts | Android | SpotifyStitcher | Pocket Casts |  RSS

 

 

Quotables:

“Mastery is about loving what you’re doing rather than nailing it perfectly or being the best of the best. It’s about having fun, putting in the time, working really hard and feeling good about that hard work.”

“I think it’s so necessary to strive for balance, because we’re always being pulled in different directions as humans and learning to say yes and no to this and that, and really hold onto what matters to you. It’s so important.”

“It feels amazing to be good at riding a wave. And that process of being amazing on a wave, I would say it’s slightly addictive. But I look at it as a good addiction.”

“Losing the arm was the easy part, but what felt incredibly hard was becoming famous and well known and all the attention put on my story.”

 

References:

  • Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

 

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Professional Surfer |

Bethany Hamilton is a professional surfer who survived a 2003 shark attack in which her left arm was bitten off but ultimately returned to professional surfing.